The Best Tip From Polyglots

Today’s tip is severely underrated. 

But before I get into it, I want to tell you a bit about the language learner who has inspired me the most. At thirty, this English-speaking woman decided to finally go to university to study the Italian language. She graduated has now been learning Italian for ten years and teaches it at a well-known high school in my city. This woman has only made a handful of trips to Italy and me, flabbergasted, asked her how she had become so fluent that she is often mistaken from coming from a particular region in Italy.

Her tip: Talk to yourself in Italian.

And do you know what? She’s absolutely right. 

This is a common technique used by popular polyglots to practise conversational skills in a language when there is no-one else to practise with.

For me here are some things that I do:

  • Imagine different scenarios where my knowledge of Italian is helpful. For example, a older Italian woman needing medical attention or someone who is lost. I imagine the situation and when I reach gaps in my knowledge, I can search the verb/tense/word to fill the gap.
  • Imagine meeting someone who is Italian and introducing myself or a friend.
  • Describe what I am doing at that point in time or what I had done during the day should an Italian friend ask.
  • Narrate myself cooking dinner or doing another task.
  • Imagine myself returning to Italy and absolutely blowing away my Italian friends with my Italian.
  • Imagine myself looking after friends and family in Italy by talking to the waiter, shop assistant or accommodation manager.

The scenarios are endless!

Is this something you already do?
Let me know what other scenarios are great to practise.

Andrea xo

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